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Bitcoin and Chinese Adoptionauthor: Kiba
published: 2011-03-25 02:10:09 UTC
Nefario thought of a bright idea of sneaking bitcoin into the classroom by proposing that bitcoin could be used as "toy money" to learn how business work without getting into terrible trouble. Except of course, the bitcoin economy is real world as it get. There, entrepeneurs can test their business ideas and executions against the market in real time. It was also an educational idea to educate Chinese students on English and business skill.
Thankfully, it wasn't just an idea that will stay only an idea. Since Nefario is an English teacher at an unnamed university in China, he already have access to large amount of unwitting students to try his experiment on. More importantly, he can basically dictates the course as he wish.
The result of being able to run his experiment is the inital flood of the marketplace forum with Chinese students adveritisng goods and services, as well lot of begging, crys for help, and unclear offers. Nonetheless, Chinese students were able to specialize in certain niches. Mostly, it was information services as it was the easiest thing to do.
For example, they attempt to entertain western readers with Chinese jokes. If a westerner laughs, he may pay a few bitcoin as a reward. Others find work as translators, or even Chinese writers. Some offers cultural and practical information such as cooking recipies and information about financial services in China. Chitchating services are also available, although it is unclear if there are any demand for it.
In term of achieving Bitcoin awareness and Nefario's educational objectives, it is a success. Even the bitcoin economy benefits from this arrangement because of the productive output by Chinese students.
However, a critical flaw prevents Nefario's effort from having a large impact on the bitcoin economy. Chinese users are only interacting with the bitcoin economy because it was a neccesary assignment in their class. There is no incentive beyond the bitcoins they earned from their assignment to keep trading with us. It is probable that there may be a Chinese or two who are interested in Western culture and will continue to interact. However, one or two chinese every six months is not much economic growth. It is also probable that an internal market might form in which bitcoins are continued to be used. Given the rariety of computer ownerships in Nefario's students, it is an unlikely scenerio. Part of the problem limiting the impact of Nefario's program is that trade only occurs one way: the students are selling goods and services to us. We aren't selling goods and services back to them. We don't have anything to offers to the Chinese.
Therefore, bitcoin entrepreneurs, if they are interested in this project, must take special effort to penetrate the Chinese market in order to jumpstart Chinese adoption of bitcoin.
One possible business is bilingual cultural exchange. With cultural information, the western world and China have unique offers that both side may be interested in. Given the existence of translated manhua(Chinese comics) in the English speaking world, we have both the market and the translators to accommodates Chinese cultural output. The next question is whether or not that Chinese are also interested in foreign cultural information, and if such a market exists in China. In all likelihood, they probably does exists but I have no data on what western media is popular or being consumed over there.
If we can indeed put together the cultural export market on both side of the ponds, the next batch of Nefario's students will have reasons to trade with us after the end of their English assignment. That will multiply the impact of nefario's effort and increase the economic growth of the Bitcoin economy. In addition to these benefits, we will also forge international ties and cultural understanding.
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